While it’s been known for some time, Kelly McGillis, the star of Top Gun, confirmed she will not be returning to portray her character of Charlotte Blackwood. Her character was the love interest to Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a civilian Top Gun instructor and astrophysicist. She was a big part of what made the first film work. Without her, it seems strange to have a sequel at all. However, audiences will still be treated to the return of Val Kilmer’s Tom “Iceman” Kazansky. McGillis was quite direct when she told Entertainment Tonight she was not asked to be part of Top Gun: Maverick.
“You know what, I don’t know how to answer that because one, it hasn’t happened,” McGillis said. “Two, if and when it did happen, I would have to assess where I am, what I’m doing, what’s going on … I can’t project what I would or wouldn’t do in the future. I have no idea because I don’t know where I’ll be.”
It appears that there is not a loud doorbell bringing McGillis back to the Top Gun forefront. She said she does not really keep in touch with anyone from her Hollywood days.
“Movies are odd things,” McGillis said. “I don’t really keep in touch with anybody. I think I’ve spoken to a couple of people occasionally, but the truth is, movies are very odd work situations because you have a lot of people who came together from all different parts of the world.”
McGillis said she is happy that Jennifer Connelly got the chance to be in Top Gun: Maverick as Maverick’s new love interest. Yet things have changed quite a bit for McGillis since her Top Gun days. She decided a long time ago to leave Hollywood for a reason.
“It was very challenging for me to have any kind of sense of self or self-identity or real self-worth other than what I did for a living,” McGillis said. “And it just – it didn’t become a priority; what became the priority initially was raising my girls and being the best sober person I could be.” She simply said she changed over time.
“I think just my priorities in life changed,” McGillis said. “It wasn’t like a major decision that I made to leave, it was just that other things became more important. I love acting, I love what I do, I love doing theater, but I don’t know me. To me, my relationships to other people became far more important than my relationship to fame.”
McGillis said she is going into a different direction with her life and hopes her next journey includes travel. She does not seem to be looking for a loud doorbell.
“I am a house person,” McGillis said. “I’m really rooted in my home life … I can’t remember the last time I worked. I feel really blessed that I don’t have to work, you know? But I get the option to work, so I’m really blessed in that way. Not many people get that option later in life, so I feel very lucky.”
McGillis, now 62, was diagnosed with alpha one antitrypsin disorder five years ago. Since focusing on getting sober and being on a journey of self-discovery, she has resided in North Carolina, spending time with her two daughters, Sonora, and Kelsey Tillman.